Part of a writing life is balancing computer work with real-life, 3D experiences to get away from the desk.
By Shelley Widhalm
I don’t like sitting, and I don’t like being in front of a computer—at least for long periods of time.
But I used to not even think about my tools of writing. They were just there for me to use—and replace every so often when they got old and nonfunctional.
I write for a living, and I write for fun with the goal to make the writing I want to do—writing novels—full time. It’s a lot of writing, as a result, but I try to balance it with daily exercise—running and lifting weights—and doing social things.
Balance, how do you achieve it when you work life and dream life both involve computers?
Finding the Work-Life Balance:
- First of all, make sure you read.
- Set aside certain times for writing, but don’t guilt yourself if you don’t write.
- Vary where you write, such as at home, a park, a restaurant or a coffee shop and find something stimulating in that environment to think about or absorb—such as the grinding of the coffee beans or the way the air feels as time shifts from high noon into the afternoon.
- Take breaks every few minutes to stretch, or take a mini-walk for a mind refresher.
- Make sure you have free time to do whatever you want that gives you a break from the routine, particularly if it doesn’t involve writing.
- Try writing in a notebook if computers are your normal tool, or vice versa. The switch may cause you to see and write differently—handwriting slows you down, while typing causes you to lose the pen-hand connection and get lost in the writer’s world.
- Find a new interest or hobby, or even forge a new friendship, to learn something new or see things from a new perspective.
- Congratulate yourself when you write when you don’t feel like it.
One Final Note:
Lastly, realize it’s the writer’s life, that constant need for discipline, motivation and encouragement. Make sure to get out to the 3D, real world to gather those experiences that are much needed for the writing life.